Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords
PART I, REFERRALS TO YOUTH OFFENDER PANELS - continued

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Youth offender panels
Establishment of panels.     6. - (1) Where a referral order has been made in respect of an offender (or two or more associated referral orders have been so made), it is the duty of the youth offending team specified in the order (or orders)-
 
 
    (a) to establish a youth offender panel for the offender;
 
    (b) to arrange for the first meeting of the panel to be held for the purposes of section 8; and
 
    (c) subsequently to arrange for the holding of any further meetings of the panel required by virtue of section 10 (in addition to those required by virtue of any other provision of this Part).
      (2) A youth offender panel shall-
 
 
    (a) be constituted,
 
    (b) conduct its proceedings, and
 
    (c) discharge its functions under this Part (and in particular those arising under section 8),
  in accordance with guidance given from time to time by the Secretary of State.
 
      (3) At each of its meetings a panel shall, however, consist of at least-
 
 
    (a) one member appointed by the youth offending team from among its members; and
 
    (b) two members so appointed who are not members of the team.
      (4) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision requiring persons appointed as members of a youth offender panel to have such qualifications, or satisfy such other criteria, as are specified in the regulations.
 
      (5) Where it appears to the court which made a referral order that, by reason of either a change or a prospective change in the offender's place or intended place of residence, the youth offending team for the time being specified in the order ("the current team") either does not or will not have the function of implementing referral orders in the area in which the offender resides or will reside, the court may vary the order so that it instead specifies the team which has the function of implementing such orders in that area ("the new team").
 
      (6) Where a court so varies a referral order-
 
 
    (a) subsection (1)(a) shall apply to the new team in any event;
 
    (b) subsection (1)(b) shall apply to the new team if no youth offender contract has (or has under paragraph (c) below been treated as having) taken effect under section 8 between the offender and a youth offender panel established by the current team;
 
    (c) if such a contract has (or has previously under this paragraph been treated as having) so taken effect, it shall (after the variation) be treated as if it were a contract which had taken effect under section 8 between the offender and the panel being established for the offender by the new team.
      (7) References in this Part to the meetings of a youth offender panel (or any such meeting) are to the following meetings of the panel (or any of them)-
 
 
    (a) the first meeting held in pursuance of subsection (1)(b);
 
    (b) any further meetings held in pursuance of section 10;
 
    (c) any progress meeting held under section 11; and
 
    (d) the final meeting held under section 12.
Attendance at panel meetings.     7. - (1) The specified team shall, in the case of each meeting of the panel established for the offender, notify-
 
 
    (a) the offender, and
 
    (b) any person to whom an order under section 5 applies,
  of the time and place at which he is required to attend that meeting.
 
      (2) If the offender fails to attend any part of such a meeting the panel may-
 
 
    (a) adjourn the meeting to such time and place as it may specify; or
 
    (b) end the meeting and refer the offender back to the appropriate court;
  and subsection (1) shall apply in relation to any such adjourned meeting.
 
      (3) One person aged 18 or over chosen by the offender, with the agreement of the panel, shall be entitled to accompany the offender to any meeting of the panel (and it need not be the same person who accompanies him to every meeting).
 
      (4) The panel may allow to attend any such meeting-
 
 
    (a) any person who appears to the panel to be a victim of, or otherwise affected by, the offence, or any of the offences, in respect of which the offender was referred to the panel;
 
    (b) any person who appears to the panel to be someone capable of having a good influence on the offender.
 
Youth offender contracts
First meeting: agreement of contract with offender.     8. - (1) At the first meeting of the youth offender panel established for an offender the panel shall seek to reach agreement with the offender on a programme of behaviour the aim (or principal aim) of which is the prevention of re-offending by the offender.
 
      (2) The terms of the programme may, in particular, include provision for any of the following-
 
 
    (a) the offender to make financial or other reparation to any person who appears to the panel to be a victim of, or otherwise affected by, the offence, or any of the offences, for which the offender was referred to the panel;
 
    (b) the offender to attend mediation sessions with any such victim or other person;
 
    (c) the offender to carry out unpaid work or service in or for the community;
 
    (d) the offender to be at home at times specified in or determined under the programme;
 
    (e) attendance by the offender at a school or other educational establishment or at a place of work;
 
    (f) the offender to participate in specified activities (such as those designed to address offending behaviour, those offering education or training or those assisting with the rehabilitation of persons dependent on, or having a propensity to misuse, alcohol or drugs);
 
    (g) the offender to present himself to specified persons at times and places specified in or determined under the programme;
 
    (h) the offender to stay away from specified places or persons (or both);
 
    (i) enabling the offender's compliance with the programme to be supervised and recorded.
      (3) The programme may not, however, provide-
 
 
    (a) for the monitoring of the offender's whereabouts (electronically or otherwise); or
 
    (b) for the offender to have imposed on him any physical restriction on his movements.
      (4) No term which provides for anything to be done to or with any such victim or other affected person as is mentioned in subsection (2)(a) may be included in the programme without the consent of that person.
 
      (5) Where a programme is agreed between the offender and the panel, the panel shall cause a written record of the programme to be produced forthwith-
 
 
    (a) in language capable of being readily understood by, or explained to, the offender, and
 
    (b) for signature by him.
      (6) Once the record has been signed-
 
 
    (a) by the offender, and
 
    (b) by a member of the panel on behalf of the panel,
  the terms of the programme, as set out in the record, take effect as the terms of a "youth offender contract" between the offender and the panel; and the panel shall cause a copy of the record to be given or sent to the offender.
 
First meeting: duration of contract.     9. - (1) This section applies where a youth offender contract has taken effect under section 8 between an offender and a youth offender panel.
 
      (2) The day on which the contract so takes effect shall be the first day of the period for which it has effect.
 
      (3) Where the panel was established in pursuance of a single referral order, the length of the period for which the contract has effect shall be that of the period specified under section 3(1)(c) in the referral order.
 
      (4) Where the panel was established in pursuance of two or more associated referral orders, the length of the period for which the contract has effect shall be that resulting from the court's directions under section 3(6).
 
      (5) Subsections (3) and (4) have effect subject to-
 
 
    (a) any order under paragraph 11 or 12 of Schedule 1 extending the length of the period for which the contract has effect; and
 
    (b) subsection (6).
      (6) If the referral order, or each of the associated referral orders, is revoked (whether under paragraph 5(2) of Schedule 1 or by virtue of paragraph 14(2) of that Schedule), the period for which the contract has effect expires at the time when the order or orders is or are revoked.
 
First meeting: failure to agree contract.     10. - (1) Where it appears to a youth offender panel to be appropriate to do so, the panel may-
 
 
    (a) end the first meeting (or any further meeting held in pursuance of paragraph (b)) without having reached agreement with the offender on a programme of behaviour of the kind mentioned in section 8(1), and
 
    (b) resume consideration of the offender's case at a further meeting of the panel.
      (2) If, however, it appears to the panel at the first meeting or any such further meeting that there is no prospect of agreement being reached with the offender within a reasonable period after the making of the referral order (or orders)-
 
 
    (a) subsection (1)(b) shall not apply; and
 
    (b) instead the panel shall refer the offender back to the appropriate court.
      (3) If at a meeting of the panel-
 
 
    (a) agreement is reached with the offender but he does not sign the record produced in pursuance of section 8(5), and
 
    (b) his failure to do so appears to the panel to be unreasonable,
  the panel shall end the meeting and refer the offender back to the appropriate court.
 
 
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Prepared 9 February 1999